Dark Skies is a very heavily customized version of Godwars Dystopia. Developers have been actively coding on it for over a decade, and have almost completely overhauled the codebase, making it a unique (and delicious) experience.
However, the downside (and upside) of that is that there is a lot to learn in this game. This page should, hopefully, help get you started.
Creating and Classing a character Edit
When you first enter the game, before you can do much of anything else, you'll need to read and accept the rules.
Type "help rules" to read the rules (and really READ them!), then "policy accept" once you've read and understood the rules.
At that point, you can "train avatar" to become an avatar, getting access to more commands.
Before you do much else, you'll want to do the following:
- Set up your configurations. Type the "Config" command and toggle settings per your liking. I recommend +fightsumm, +nostuns, brief2, brief3, brief4, brief5, autoex, autoloot, autosac, autotoken, and autotrain.
- Turn off traveling/summoning. Type "nosum on" and "notrav" to prevent other players from traveling to you or summoning you.
- Read Important Help Files. Help Newbie, Help Rules, Help Nifty, Help Status, Help Artifacts, Help Wiki, Help Save
- Train Up. Train HP all, Train Move all, Train Mana all, Train Rank all
- Set up your Super Stance. Help Super. Generally speaking, you'll want to use these commands: setstance speed, setstance parry, setstance dodge, setstance bypass, setstance damage supreme, setstance resist supreme, setstance damcap greater, setstance rev_dc lesser, autostance super
- Look at the Classes. Help Class, Help Classguide
- Check the Wiki. Read the help files on any class that sounds appealing (as well as the Wiki pages for that class, for further information!).
- Select a class Type "Selfclass [class]".
It's best to choose a simpler class to start out, so you're not struggling to juggle both learning about the mud itself AND learning complicated class mechanics.
Some recommended starter classes are:
- Undead Knight. Very powerful class, and easy to play and understand.
- Shapeshifter. Same deal.
- Tanar'ri. Also same deal.
- Drow Cleric. Another powerful and easy to understand class.
- Demon. Demons are their own special cast, turning most games into a stance/de-stance game. Easy to learn, hard to master.
- Werewolf. Go Suthar tribe, Warrior auspice for a powerful and easy to play character, though other tribes and auspices also exist.
Once you've selected a class, you'll want to read everything you can on it (again, all help files and the wiki page if present), as well as ask questions of the other players to fill in any gaps. The playerbase is generally very helpful and welcoming.
Spend some time killing training mobs and whatever to build up class points (if needed) to get access to all of your class powers (use the "powers" command to list them all out).
Setting up your Equipment Edit
Once you've got your head wrapped around your class and have gained access to your powers, you'll want to set up your class equipment.
Getting Class and Celtic Equipment Edit
Nearly all classes have access to some unique class equipment, gained through one of the commands in the "Powers" menu. Some get full sets of equipment, others only get weapons.
Get all of the class equipment you can from there, and fill in any gaps using the Celtic command. Some classeq comes with unique effects that you can't get gems for (e.g. Resistance, Haste, Chaos Shield), so you want to use it whenever possible.
Customizing Gear Edit
Once you have gear, you'll need to customize it. Help Forge and Help Materials for some further information.
Once you've read those, here is what you'll want to do
- Set up Gems. Type "Loadgems" to create all your gems, then use Help Forge to determine which effects each one has, and slot them into your gear appropriately. You'll want to keep the important effects (like Sanc) on items that cannot be cut off. Rings, Bracers, Sleeves, Gloves, Legs, Feet are all slots that can and will be cut off in battle, so put the lesser effects (like the elemental shields) on those.
- Slab your stuff. You'll need to determine whether you want Damroll (melee class) or Psyche (midround class). Help Classguide provides hints as to which stat to go with. Damroll users will want to forge Adamantite into all of their gear, Psyche users will want to forge Copper into all of theirs. The other slabs are either useless or for advanced users, you can't really go wrong with these two options.
- Quest your stuff. Use the "Quest" command to add some stats to your gear. You'll have to choose between Psyche and Hitroll/Damroll, but it's otherwise straightforward. Remember that Weapons can receive more! You can use "Unquest" to change stats around if needed.
- Set up your Santatium. Each character can create 20 slabs of Santatium (this limit is sometimes increased during Christmas). Treasure these slabs. When forged into an item, Santatium gives it two random buffs. You can unforge and reforge it until it gives the exact buffs you want. Takes a while, but gives a significant boost in power, especially at lower tiers.
Achieve Mastery Edit
By typing the "level" command, you can see what your skill levels are with various weapon types and spell schools. Before you can adequately PK, you'll need to max these out.
You can do so by either practicing them manually (by spamming spells of a given color and using weapons fo a given type) or increase them with the "Improve" command.
Once you've obtained all of your class powers and have maxed all weapons and schools, type "mastery" to Achieve Mastery, acquiring a special piece of equipment, which usually has a powerful effect on it (like Haste, Chaosshield, Resistance, etc)
DO NOT EVER FORGE A GEM INTO MASTERY EQUIPMENT. IT WILL IRREVERSIBLY FUCK THE ITEM.
Fill out the rest of your gear Edit
Once you've completed the above, you don't have all of your item slots filled yet. You still need to find items for Piercing, Ear, Medal, Special, and Floating slots.
View the Special Equipment page for a detailed listing of the options available - you'll generally start with Arena items here, and stick with them for a long time. Many arena items can be quested, meaning you can change their wear location as well - people generally wear items like Insignia of the Wargod and Eye of the Raven in their piercing/ear slots, as the default items for those slots are subpar.
The biggest priority is getting Haste if your class equipment/mastery item doesn't grant it. Infinity is the best bet - it's doable (barely) at Tier 1, with a lot of patience and effort.
Items in these slots (and the mastery slot) are great candidates for Santatium, since they can never be cut off.
You can set up AI sparring partners using the "sparsetup" command. Doing some of these at the start is a great way to familiarize yourself with your class, and ensure you've got it down enough to beat AI opponents.
Recommended starting setup: Tier -1, Gearlevel -1, Status 0, Class Assassin, Room 3.
Change the opposing class around to fight against different AIs.
When you can reliably-ish beat Samurai, Shapeshifter, Undead Knight, and Sorcerer, you're in great shape.
Bots killed during sparring matches do NOT count towards your pokedex and megadex rosters.
Do Events, Get Points! Edit
There are a number of recurring or triggerable events to acquire points in this game, all of which have excellent time/reward ratios (especially at lower tiers!)
The Arena starts every 30 minutes (15 minutes if no one joined the previous one). Type "arenajoin" to enter it. Once inside, you enter a waiting area where you can spell yourself up (stone skin, armor, shield, darkbless, bless, frenzy).
Once the sign-up timer expires, you're dropped into a 2x3 arena with 2 or 3 AI bots. Your Tier, Generation, and Status are randomized, your gear is temporarily replaced with a basic, standardzed set, and some class powers will need to be re-activated upon entry.
The bots will stay in one place and wait to be attacked. Defeat them and "tie" them to eliminate them. Last player standing receives a random reward from the ABuy list.
Joining Arena and each successful elimination also grant Arena Points.
Bots captured in Arena will count towards your Pokedex and Megadex rosters.
Ragnarok can be started by any player by typing "Ragna". Once started, it can be extended up to two times, again by typing "Ragna". Each use of that command costs 300,000 QP and adds 10 minutes to the timer (for a total of 30 minutes).
You can join Ragnarok by typing "join". Once you've done so, you're in it until you either quit or Ragnarok ends.
During Ragnarok, your tier, status, and generation are again randomized but are always HUGE. You retain your current gear.
20 bots spawn at a time, and one or two will actively hunt you if you haven't picked a fight fast enough. "Notravel" is turned off for this event, making all bots and participants travelable.
If you're killed, you Train Avatar at full HP, and you do NOT lose your current artifact.
You basically spend the entire time jumping and killing bots, accruing Ragnarok points for each kill. If one beats you, consider just attacking a different one once you've trained Avatar again.
Bots killed during Ragnarok count towards your pokedex and megadex rosters.
Going South, Up from Recall takes you to the coliseum. Each attempt costs 200,000 QP. "Help Gladi" for a full rundown of how Coliseum works.
The Coliseum grants significant amounts of rival points, up until you hit the "cap" for your Tier, at which point it grants heavily reduced rewards. You can occasionally gain Status from Coliseum wins, as well.
Bots in the Coliseum will actively hunt you shortly after they spawn, be prepared!
Bots killed in the Coliseum count towards your pokedex and megadex rosters.
Getquests are a reliable way of getting extra Arena, Ragnarok, and Rival points, as well as some other rewards. They're not terribly exciting, but they're pretty efficient once you've gotten used to the system. Read "Help getquest" for a full rundown of the system and the reward tiers.
Before you start, type "getquestprize pk". The default setting is useless.
Type "getquest" to begin. You'll get a scrambled message of an enemy to kill. Decode the scramble, travel to that enemy, attack it, capture it with the "capture" command, and type "getquest" again to start the next one.
If you're completely stumped, you can "stopquest" to give up on your current target, although that resets your counter.
Finally, note that the various travel commands accept multiple arguments, using quotes. For example, "shadowwalk 'hyuuga hinata'" will ensure you get Hinata and not Neji.
Pokedex / Megadex Edit
While completing these various events, you'll often encounter bots with Megaman or Pokemon names. These mobs can be collected to earn IQP, which can be used to purchase powerful charms. Type "help megadex" for full details.
The Warzone (south, down from Recall) is where players can fight one another for status on even footing.
The Warzone randomizes the Status, Generation, and Tier for all players within it, constantly shifting the values to ensure balanced play between classes that scale differently than others (all players have the same values at any given time).
Equipment, like Arena, is replaced with a standard, basic set.
You do, however, retain some of your basic Tier properties - commands that only unlock at certain tiers are based on your "real" tier.
Battle Arena Edit
Not to be confused with the normal arena, the Battle Arena (four up from recall) is a strictly PVE affair.
In the Battle Arena, you'll fight in a variety of events. At the receptionist, you can say easy/medium/hard/group/mmk to fight those challenges.
Easy is for tier 1-2 characters, Medium for 3-5 or 3/6 or so, Hard for 6+. MMK is doable at any Tier.
When you complete Easy, Medium, or Hard, you receive a QP reward and can achieve medals for winning at full health, under 10% health, or (except Easy mode) winning in a fast enough time. Hard mode also grants a Battle Coin for each victory.
These medals are wearable equipment, and can also be turned in at the arena shopkeeper (east, south from receptionist) for BAP, which can be used to purchase a variety of good items. Battle coins can also be turned in for 5 BAP a shot.
MMK doesn't have any special rewards, but is the best way to farm for Materials in the game.
Advanced Gear Customization Edit
The above is only the basic setup for your class and gear. There are further ways you can customize and improve your equipment.
Here are some of them!
Weapon Hilts and Pommels Edit
Explained in the Crafted Items page, Hilts and Pommels improve the effiicacy of your weaponry. Note that these STACK with similar effects pre-existing on equipment - Vorpal Hilts stack with base Vorpal properties, Pisces Pommels' heals stack with the base heals from Ragnarok, etc.
You want level 5 hilts/pommels if you can manage it. The material costs are expensive, but you can also get them using Ragnarok Points (from participating in Ragnarok when it occurs) and TBuy (using Trophies acquired from gameplay, see notes in Board 8 for a listing of ones gotten recently to both view the categories and see what amounts are "competitive" for getting trophies).
If in doubt, it's tough to go wrong with Vorpal and Dispel Magic hilts and pommels.
Also explained in Crafted Items page. These provide a small, nice bonus to your character. Level 1 talismans will, supposedly, suffice. These are a low priority item, but are nice to get.
Acquired from Getquests (help getquest). Make sure you've entered "getquestprize pk"! If you complete 100 consecutive getquests, you'll acquire a single slab of Azherium (and a number of Rival, Arena, and Ragnarok points along the way).
Azherium works in a similar fashion to Santatium (and stacks with Santatium), but is both more volatile and less powerful. When forged onto an item, Azherium selects 3 random stats to buff, and buffs them a random amount. It can be unforged and reforged freely until you get stats you're happy with.
Pay attention as you unforge/reforge it to learn which stats it can buff and how high each stat can go.
A full set of Azherium is a lot of work (as of now, I think only two characters have completed full sets), but provides a pretty decent buff to your character for no additional EQP cost, making it desireable (especially at lower tiers).
IQP Charms Edit
IQP is earned from completing Raccoon City and from Pokedex/Megadex. You can use it with the iqpbuy command to get various charms, which have different bonuses (their names make the type of bonus pretty obvious).
These charms give set bonuses at 5, 10, 15, and 20 pieces, and the sets are very powerful. Each costs 20 EQP to wear.
You can freely IQPsell and IQPbuy the charms to change them around as fits your needs.
Acquirable from Mirage Island, these function like (and are mutually exclusive with) IQP Charms.
There are some forgeables that do stack with IQP charms and Steels, in a separate category simply called "Forgeables". These are almost exclusively acquired from Mirage Island. Some require only 3-4 EQP to forge, others can require 120+ each.
Arch, Kingdom, Quest and Arena Gear Edit
Sometimes it's desirable to get a different base item than to keep stacking crap onto the basic ones. There are a number of items acquirable throughout the game that fit this need. "Help Arch" for information on that, and see the Special Equipment page for a listing of many of the items that can be gotten from the Arenas and the Quest areas.